Survival seeds produce the nutrition and herbs you need to live a nutrient-rich life grown in your own backyard. Some crops yield fast, hearty results; others are more challenging to grow but are worth the results. Your goals should also help shape what type of seeds you want, from medicinal to sustenance. It’s also important to keep in mind that germination rates naturally decline as seeds age, making it more critical than ever to choose the best options from a reputable company.
Ready to get started? Here's a look at twenty seeds to kick off your seed vault or enhance the one you already have. But the sky's the limit, and the more variety and quality seeds you have, the better.
1) Bean - TopCrop
TopCrop beans harvest in less than two months and are an excellent source of protein and nutrition, whether served up fresh, frozen, or canned. Beans are also popular among seed survivalists for their high yields and nearly continual harvest. They're also known as a disease-resistant variety with pods that can span up to seven inches long for hearty results.
2) Broccoli - Green Calabrese
Green Calabrese is flavorful and produces tender broccoli heads. It's known for blueish-green yields with multiple side shoots. Beyond a high-quality vegetable to eat, it also provides medicinal benefits, like antioxidants that help neutralize cell damage caused by free radicals. This large variety is easy to freeze or eat fresh.
3) Cabbage - Red Acre
Red Acre cabbage tastes sweet straight out of the garden. It contains Vitamin C, A, and E, beta-carotene, potassium, and iron. They're relatively easy to grow and resistant to splitting and fusarium wilt. Once you start yielding red acre cabbage, store it in your fridge or root cellar to make soups, slaws, or stir-fries.
4) Cantaloupe - Honeydew Orange Flesh
Honeydew is part of the cucurbits family and is a little more challenging to grow than options like carrots, but it's worth the results. They're ready to harvest when the rinds turn white or yellow and are hardy varieties that tend to stay on the vine. They taste great cold or balled into a bowl with other fruit on a hot summer day.
5) Cauliflower - Snowball Y
Cauliflower is a cool-season vegetable and typically doesn't grow in temperatures more than 75°F. They also produce seed stalks you can gather once they’ve matured and dried on the plant. Cauliflower's nutrition profile is also impressive, with Vitamin C, K, B6, folate, potassium, magnesium, and more. You're likely to get a portion of almost every vitamin and mineral you need for a healthy diet.
6) Lettuce - Crisphead Iceberg
Iceberg varieties perform well in both warm and cool weather conditions and are a staple of many seed vaults and survival gardeners. Despite contrary opinion, iceberg does have nutritional value, including Vitamin K and folate. You’ll also get some medicinal benefits, like the improvement of blood clotting and eye health.
7) Onion - Red Burgundy
Red Burgundy is a short onion that yields glossy red bulbs. The sweet and mild flavor pairs well with salads, sandwiches, and veggies. They're relatively easy to grow, but you'll need about 10 to 12 hours of daylight to see results. Once they’re ready to pick, you’ll enjoy a tasty, high-quality source of Vitamin C, potassium, and calcium.
8) Peas - Dark Seeded
Dark-seeded peas love compost-rich, well-drained soil with sowing temperatures below 70°F. They're a good source of protein, fiber, natural carbohydrates, and some natural fats. They reach maturity at around 68 to 70 days and snap open for fresh eating, canning, or freezing.
9) Pepper - California Wonder
California Wonder Peppers produce a blocky bell pepper ideal for stuffing or chopping up in a salad. You can pick them when they’re green or red for a flavorful snack. It's best to start these survival seeds indoors for about eight weeks before your last danger of frost or a cold snap. Your soil should be around 80 to 85 degrees for proper germination, and soak up 12 to 16 hours of sunlight daily.
10) Rutabaga - American Purple Top
The American Purple Top Rutabaga is easy to grow and has no fertilizer requirements. It needs full sun and matures in up to 120 days. Unlike other survival seeds, you don't need to start your rutabagas indoors. They also don't produce seeds until their second year, making it necessary to plan ahead on your seed supply. These rutabagas enjoy vitamins A, B6, and C and fiber, magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium.
Squash seed varieties, including nutritious zucchini, winter spaghetti, and squash are easy to harvest and are versatile to eat. They taste great sauteed with butter or pureed to include in muffins or bread. You can slice them open to separate the pulp and seeds to keep your harvest going. All squash is nutritious and is high in fiber, vitamin A, potassium, Vitamin B, and Vitamin C.
12) Sunflower - Mammoth Gray
Mammoth Gray Sunflowers are considered herbs and are easy to grow in full sunlight and well-drained soil. They produce sunflower seeds that are fun to roast and salt, or you can feed them to your birds. Or you can save them for next year's harvest and start again. Mammoth Gray seeds are also shown to lower rates of cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
Tomatoes are an essential part of your survival seed vault. Seeds germinate in warm room temperatures before moving them outdoors. You'll enjoy a wealth of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A. Choose from Floradade, large cherry, homestead, Roma VF, Rio Grande, Moneymaker, Marglobe, and Delicious to get started.
Grab some herb varieties for your survival garden, including Basil - Genovese, Cilantro - Coriander, and Oregano - Italian among others. Growing herbs is usually a straight-forward process, even indoors. In addition to increasing the flavor of your food, many herbs help prevent or manage heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. You may also experience some anti-inflammatory benefits.
15) Turnip - Purple Top
Purple Top Turnips are a hearty cool weather crop to plant a few weeks before the last spring frost. You can use them like potatoes in soups, stews, and stir-fries or roasted with butter and salt. Turnips also produce quality nutrients, including Vitamin C, iron Vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium, Vitamin D, and cobalamin.
16) Watermelon - Crimson Sweet
You can sow Crimson Sweet Watermelon in warm and cool climates with full sun for a delicious treat. Watermelon produces immune-boosting vitamins, including C and A. You also benefit from antioxidants that fight diseases and some potassium. When the skin touching your mulch is yellow, it's ready to harvest. Enjoy sliced or balled.
17) St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort is difficult to grow as a survival seed, but it is worth it when you've established a harvest. It can be used as a medicinal herb for depression, kidney problems, lung ailments, insomnia, and wound healing, but you can also add it to a fresh salad. Sow the seeds on the surface of your soil in the Fall or early Spring in an area with a consistent mix of sun and shade.
18) Lavender - English
Another herb on our list, lavender, can be used as a cleaning agent, health remedy, or herbal remedy. It's packed with compounds like limonene to stimulate digestive enzymes, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Use lavender to reduce symptoms of anxiety, stress, insomnia, depression, post-surgery pain, dementia, and more. It's also fabulous to flavor ice creams and beverages or freshen up your home's fragrance.
19) Chamomile - German
Chamomile grows in cool, shady areas with dry soil. It's challenging and tolerant and also doesn't require much watering. Chamomile leaves are bitter but can be used sparingly as an edible addition to teas. You can also use the blossoms or flowers for salads and desserts like custard. Drink Chamomile as a teat to treat upset stomachs and insomnia or to enhance soaps, lotions, and cosmetics. Chamomile is a good vitamin C, calcium, copper, zinc, and iron source.
20) Achillea - Golden Yarrow
Golden Yarrow grows well in compost and hot and dry conditions. But it doesn't tolerate wet conditions and quickly spreads in your garden or field. The flavor profile is strong, so you’ll want to use it sparingly in tea, salad, and soups. It's also suitable as a substitute for hops in beer. As a medicinal plant, you can use Yarrow as a fever reducer and shorten the duration of cold and flu. It enjoys a long-standing reputation as an anti-inflammatory astringent that also aids with digestive health and skin.
Keep Your Survival Garden Flourishing
Whether you're ready to start growing a survival garden or just want to store your seeds, you'll eventually need some tools and soil amendments to thrive. Soil absorption is vital to good garden health, and My Lightning increases the available surface area of your plant's root system. The results provide maximum nutrients and water absorption. Azomite is also a valuable addition to raising the CEC of the soil and is quickly consumed by soil microorganisms.
This survival seed round-up just scratches the surface of what's possible for your vault. It's also worth noting that you should approach any medicinal survival seeds with medicinal value conservatively and not necessarily in place of doctor-recommended advice or treatment.Ready to get started building your own seed vault? Browse our survival seeds, kits, and supplies, or purchase our pre-packaged options. We provide a one-stop shopping experience for your survival gardening needs.